Heat vs. Spurs 2013: Changes Miami Must Make to Take Control of Finals Series
Despite out-rebounding the Spurs and posting a better field goal percentage, the Heat had no answer for Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, who each netted at least 20 points.
So what must Miami do to get control of the series?
Let's take a look.
Post Up Action
Tim Duncan is a solid interior defender, but he's not Roy Hibbert.
Miami was able to do some scoring in the paint against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals, and it shouldn't be any different against San Antonio.
There's no reason for Chris Bosh to be launching three-pointers—especially with time winding down in the game—when the Heat have some of the best downtown shooters in Ray Allen, Shane Battier and Mike Miller. The Heat need to get Bosh in the paint where he can get in the post and create for his teammates.
If the Spurs double Bosh, he can kick it out to outside shooters, and if he gets a one-on-one matchup against Duncan or Tiago Splitter, Bosh has the skills to score from the post.
The same can be said for James.
As much as LeBron has improved his three-point shooting, he has to be the leading scorer for the Heat, and he's at his best when he's in the lane and scoring in the paint.
Just ask Paul George about guarding LeBron in the post.
Contain No. 9
Aside from James, Spurs point guard Tony Parker has been the best player throughout the course of the 2013 NBA playoffs.
Parker torched Miami for 21 points and six assists—highlighted by the circus shot seen above—and exposed perhaps the biggest flaw for the Heat: the point guard position.
Neither Mario Chalmers nor Norris Cole have the defensive skills to stick Parker. In fact, James is the only Heat player who can match up with No. 9. Parker's ability to change directions at the drop of a hat and get into the paint with ease makes him a matchup nightmare for Miami.
As we've seen in the past against Derrick Rose, James can lock down guards in crucial moments of the game. James shouldn't be sticking Parker for the entire game because his offense could wind up suffering, but Erik Spoelstra needs to put LeBron on Parker during important moments throughout the game.
If Miami continues to let Parker control the pace of the game and get into the paint, the Heat don't stand a chance against the veteran Spurs.
Less Passing, More Shooting
I'm talking to you, Mr. James.
Despite a triple-double effort (18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists), LeBron actually hurt the Heat by taking just 16 shots.
Normally I don't condone players posting Carmelo Anthony-like numbers in terms of field goal attempts, but with a struggling Dwyane Wade and a power forward in Bosh who has resorted to taking jump shots, James has to shoulder the scoring load.
James needs to find that fine balance between distribution and scoring. LeBron is at his best when he's contributing in all facets of the game, but these are unusual circumstances with the other two-thirds of the Big Three struggling.
The only way Miami is going to win back-to-back NBA championships is with James being the dominant scorer that we all know he can be.
As impressive as his Game 1 triple-double was, the Heat need more scoring from him—likely somewhere in the realm of 30-plus points per game to take down San Antonio.
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